The formation of primordial follicles involves the interaction between the oocytes and surrounding somatic cells, which differentiate into granulosa cells. Estradiol-17ß (E) promotes primordial follicle formation in vivo and in vitro; however, the underlying mechanisms are poorly understood. The expression of an ERBB3-binding protein 1 (EBP1) is downregulated in 8-day old hamster ovaries concurrent with the increase in serum estradiol levels and the formation of primordial follicles. The objectives of the present study were to determine the spatio-temporal expression and putative E regulation of EBP1 in ovarian cells during perinatal development with respect to primordial follicle formation. Hamster EBP1 nucleic acid and amino acid sequences were more than 93% and 98% similar, respectively, to those of mouse and human, and contained nucleolar localization signal, RNA-binding domain and several phosphorylation sites. EBP1 protein was present in somatic cells and oocytes from E15, and declined in oocytes by P1 and in somatic cells by P5. Thereafter, EBP1 expression increased through P7 with a transient decline on P8 primarily in interstitial cells. EBP1 mRNA levels mirrored protein expression pattern. E treatment on P1 and P4 upregulated EBP1 expression by P8 whereas E treatment on P4 downregulated it by 72 h suggesting a compensatory upregulation due to E pretreatment. Treatment with an FSH-antiserum, which suppressed primordial follicle formation, prevented the decline in EBP1 levels, and the effect was reversed by E treatment. Therefore, the results provide the first evidence that EBP1 may play an important role in mediating the effect of E in the differentiation of somatic cells into granulosa cells during primordial follicle formation.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)